In July 2018 a new messenger app was launched known as Moya Messenger which is mobile messaging app that allows users to communicate without incurring data costs. This app developed in South Africa by biNu provides #datafree text messaging that works when a mobile user has no airtime or data balance on their smartphone device.
The Moya App works quite similar to popular messaging app Whatsapp but is unique as text messaging is #datafree across all four major mobile networks, MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom.
According to Gour Lentell, CEO of biNu they are profoundly motivated by the positive social impact of enabling ubiquitous #datafree mobile messaging, developed in Africa, for Africans, by utilising telco reverse billing, which allows them to pay mobile messaging data costs.
biNu has reverse billing agreements with MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom, and has built this technology platform that enables partners and customers to make their apps and websites #datafree for end-users. Despite a multi-million dollar marketing budget, WeChat struggled to gain a foothold in the South African market largely because the incumbent network effect of WhatsApp proved too competitive to overcome.
With Moya App you can see a place for a challenger where the data cost barrier of mobile messaging is removed completely for South African consumers, particularly in an era of #DataMustFall and an increased amount of pressure on consumer incomes.
Features of Moya App
- There are wonderful features in Moya App.
- You get unlimited text and 100% #datafree
- Offers #datafree Group Chat
- Offers automatic end-to-end encryption of all messages.
- You can send attachments but not #datafree which means attachments are fully supported, such as photos, videos, voice notes, documents etc., however sending attachments is not #datafree. Before sending you will be warned you need mobile data or WiFi.
- Automatically find contacts who have Moya.
- You can have messages saved even when your mobile is off
To use #datafree apps you need to keep your mobile data turned on. As long as you are on MTN, Vodacom, Cell C or Telkom #datafree apps will not use any of your airtime or data balance. Please note that other apps may use some data.
How to get Moya App on your Android mobile?
Moya App works for all Android mobile phones like Samsung and Huawei in South Africa and even outside South Africa.
To install the app on your phone go to Google play store or click here to download all free
If you download from the website then you may be asked to change your security settings to allow installation of apps from sources other than Play Store. Slide the switch to on and then install the app. You should slide it back to off when the app is installed. One some phones the slider moves back automatically once the app is installed.
The commercial model around the platform is to provide rich, programmatic access to businesses and enterprises of all kinds so users can engage at scale with their audiences through messaging, without a cost implication for their users, members and customers.
According to Lentell, there are opportunities for organisations to benefit from a #datafree platform. For example, financial institutions can deliver on customer support and document exchange; trade unions and political parties can communicate with their members; government agencies can disseminate information and implement service delivery; NGOs can reach target communities; and the FMCG sector can reach their audiences.
The key feature that sets Moya apart is that sending and receiving messages from businesses or other enterprises remains #datafree for the end-user. It’s counter-productive for organisations to try and engage their customers and mobile audiences on other messaging platforms when they have no airtime available. A core standard that will be applied rigorously to Moya is that all business communication will be on a consumer opt-in basis only.
— #datafree (@datafreeSA) July 21, 2018